How to test and check a HP StoreWorks Ultrium tape drive

  With used tape drives falling in price they are now finding their ways into the hands of more home storage enthusiasts; one should be wary about purchasing a tape drive in unknown condition, though, as there’s a good chance that it may be faulty or require servicing. One way to check the status of the tape drive for HP units is their Library and Tape Tools software – currently available from here:  
http://h18006.www1.hp.com/products/storageworks/ltt/
  To run a test, open L&TT and click on the Test tab:   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-01 Insert a tape into the drive that is blank (or has data you don’t mind being over-written), click on Options:   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-02   Click (or double click) on Allow Overwrite and change it to True, then click OK. You will be returned to the previous screen. Click “Start Test”.   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-03 What you don’t really want to see is a pop-up a couple of minutes later like this:   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-04 Time to look at the Test/Utility Results tab:   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-05 From here we can expand the Analysis Results to see what has happened:   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-08   Another possible result is an incomplete test:   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-06 This can sometimes happen because the drive needs cleaning – if you open the Analysis Results you will see a request for cleaning if this is the case:   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-07 Hopefully, though, you get a passed test with no issues such as these! To get a detailed report of the drive status we can use the Report Viewer – click on the Support tab at the top, then Refresh Device Data, then View Support Ticket. You should see a report with expandable headings which provides a great deal of information, e.g.:   hp-library-and-tape-tools-test-09 There is a wealth of information here, covering both the drive and the tape inside. Worth checking over for any anomalies if you have just received a new drive!

How to update the firmware of a HP tape drive – StorageWorks Ultrium 448

  The quickest and easiest way of updating the firmware is through HP’s Library and Tape Tools – at the time of writing it is available here:  
http://h18006.www1.hp.com/products/storageworks/ltt/
  Click on the “Link to free download” link to acquire the software. Assuming you have the correct drivers for your setup (SCSI/SAS/etc card), the tape drive is connected and powered on you will be able to detect it using LTT. Click on “Firmware” at the top:   hp-firmware-01 Now click “Get Files From Web”, then select your tape drive/firmware and click Download:   hp-firmware-02   Once it has download, exit that screen and click on Firmware again:   hp-firmware-03 You should be looking at the Update Firmware tab by default, if not select it and you should see the above screen. To update the firmware now (once checking that all of the numbers look as they should!) click Start Update. You will see the following warning message:   hp-firmware-04   After that, you should see:   hp-firmware-05 We find that the Time Remaining is usually reasonably pessimistic and that it generally finishes early. Once the update is complete you will get the following popup:   hp-firmware-06   Once LTT comes back to life, your update should be completed and you can check it through the Health tab, which should pop up the Report Viewer:   hp-firmware-07 There’s plenty of info in there so it’s well worth checking to see how much life is remaining on the drive.   Done!